By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press
Last night hundreds of people appeared a National City Council hearing on a motion to strengthen their Welcoming City Resolution.
As defined by Welcoming America, the network coordinating such efforts, this is what National City was seeking to endorse:
A Welcoming City or County is one that joins the Welcoming America network and works across multiple sectors, such as government, business, and non-profit, to create inclusive policies and practices such as making it easier for entrepreneurs to start a business or having government documents available in multiple languages. Welcoming Cities are guided by the principles of inclusion and creating communities that prosper because everyone feels welcome, including immigrants and refugees.
Anti-immigrant groups were expected to oppose the measure, given that the very idea is being blasted as a United Nations/George Soros conspiracy in rightwing media.
What supporters of the resolution didn’t expect was political sabotage from within the city council.
From a resolution supporter’s Facebook feed:
What a gut-wrenching end to a thoughtful and heartful meeting. For 90 minutes, National City residents and locals expressed their strong support and hope for the Welcoming City resolution to be passed. No one present spoke in opposition, except Mayor Morrison and Vice Mayor Mendivil.
At the last moment, Mayor Morrison presented a “substitute” resolution that he did not share with the rest of the councilmembers beforehand, and which he did not make available to them until after he had read it aloud. Gone were the words “Welcoming”, “Immigrant” and “Refugee”. Scrubbed was an entire paragraph about not letting city police be used by ICE and US Border Patrol. This alternate resolution passed, to shouts of “Cowards!” and “Shame!” from the chamber gallery.
Councilmember Soleto-Solis met us, in tears, outside the chamber while the meeting continued. Residents are resolute about voting out Mayor Morrison, and anyone else on the council who they feel does not represent them. We witnessed an absolutely disgusting bait-and-switch tonight.